Cruz v. Maypa, No. 13-2363 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against defendants, alleging claims pursuant to the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. 1589, 1590, 1595; the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 206, 216; and Virginia contract law. Plaintiff is a citizen of the Philippines and moved to the United States to work for defendants in order to provide for her young daughter and elderly parents, all of whom reside in the Philippines. Plaintiff's claims stemmed from her allegations that she was forced to work for defendants for wages well below the minimum from 2002 until her escape in 2008. The district court dismissed plaintiff's claims as time-barred. In 2008, Congress amended the TVPA to include a ten-year statute of limitations, William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), 18 U.S.C. 1595(c). The court held that applying the TVPRA's extended limitations period to claims that were unexpired at the time of its enactment does not give rise to an impermissible retroactive effect under Landgraf v. USI Film Products. In this case, plaintiff pled facts sufficient to support the conclusion that her claims were unexpired under the four-year limitations period when the 2008 TVPA went into effect. Therefore, the court concluded that, although plaintiff's state law claims are time-barred, her TVPA claims may be timely under the ten-year limitations period if they were tolled until within four years of the TVPRA's enactment, and her FLSA claim may be timely if she received actual notice of her rights within three years of filing this suit. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.